Elmo comes to Singapore for the first time, learns to order drinks at kopitiam

Sesame Street's Elmo learns some kopitiam lingo from Straits Times journalist Gwendolyn Ng on his first visit to Singapore.
Since arriving in Singapore on Saturday (Sept 23), Elmo and his puppeteer Ryan Dillon have been to Universal Studios Singapore, the National Museum of Singapore and Singapore Zoo.
Since arriving in Singapore on Saturday (Sept 23), Elmo and his puppeteer Ryan Dillon have been to Universal Studios Singapore, the National Museum of Singapore and Singapore Zoo.PHOTO: SESAME WORKSHOP

SINGAPORE - Sesame Street's Elmo is in town to spread his infectious laughter.

His first visit to Singapore is part of the #ShareTheLaughter campaign by Sesame Workshop, the children's television show's non-profit education arm.

Since arriving on our sunny island on Saturday (Sept 23), Elmo and his puppeteer Ryan Dillon have been to Universal Studios Singapore, the National Museum of Singapore and Singapore Zoo.

Dillon, 29, said: "My favourite part is being with kids when they come to visit the set or when we do live appearances. They know the characters better than any of us because they are like family to them.

"We went to the National Museum, and met a lot of great kids. They all knew how old Elmo is without being asked - Elmo is 3½ years old. That connection that kids have with the character is really special."

In the midst of their packed schedule, the friendly muppet found time to sit down and chat with The Straits Times on Tuesday before flying off the following day. Among other things, he received tips from ST on how to navigate a kopitiam, including how to order healthier drinks and what food to try.

Tapping on the ubiquity of the Internet to spread laughter, Elmo has challenged people to post a video of themselves telling a joke. Elmo's famous friends who have responded include Game Of Thrones star Kit Harington and American singer Josh Groban.

Harington's joke: "What does a bird give out on Halloween?... Tweets!"